Typo Keyboard Review for iPhone 5 and 5s

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I love my iPhone for many reasons, but the virtual keyboard has never been one of them. So when I heard about Typo Keyboard’s new iPhone 5/5s keyboard case, I purchased a couple with high hopes.

Why keyboard your iPhone?

The Palm Treo was the first phone that truly allowed me to be productive on the go, and ever since I’ve missed the tactile feedback of a physical keyboard. The iPhone has become an indispensable tool on its own, but I’ve never mastered the virtual keyboard no matter how hard I try.

I have a love-hate relationship with Apple’s auto-correct: sometimes it’s amazing and will fix words when I mistakenly transpose my fingers. Other times it can be embarrassing or down-right frightful to hit send before proper proofing. Despite my efforts to master the virtual keyboard, I tend to shy away from entering text (i.e. Communicating and creating) and instead use my iPhone to check twitter, FB and mail (i.e. Consuming content).

But what if I could actually enjoy typing on my iPhone? I hoped a physical keyboard would increase my productivity by allowing me to reliably type anywhere. I imagined myself emailing replies, jotting down notes, ideas and blog posts while waiting in line at Superstore. A guy can dream right?

Hardware

Video: first-look at the Typo Keyboard

The Typo slides onto your iPhone in 2 pieces and adds minimal bulk and weight.

You’re not going to win any style-awards and will likely be mocked by true Apple-loving friends, but hey: if it works, it just might be worth the ridicule.

In use

Those who miss the tactile and auditory feedback of a physical keyboard will likely be drawn to the Typo keyboard. It takes a bit to get used to the centre-sloping keys, but once you learn to push the keys toward the centre, you’ll happily peck away with your thumbs.

I’m not sure if I’m actually faster or more accurate, but typing seems somehow less worrisome knowing auto-correct is no longer in the drivers seat corrupting my message.

Pros and Cons

Pros

The case is very slim and adds minimal bulk and weight. Kudos to Typo for squeezing the utility of a qwerty keyboard in such a small and light package.

The familiar and well-implemented qwerty and phone-style numeric keypad layout are also great touches.

There’s also a well-implemented backlight, allowing you to type equally well in the dark.

Unfortunately, there’s not much more to cheer about.

Cons

Here’s a video review outlining the good, the bad, my wishlist for version 2.0 and why no matter how much I want to, I can’t fall in love with Typo.

Conclusion

For $99 the Typo keyboard has definitely turned heads and peaked interest. Unfortunately, their first product misses the mark on too many fronts to be worthy of a place in my pocket.

With other iPhone 5 bluetooth keyboards starting at just $10, there’s plenty of competition in the market. But I’m still hoping next versions of the Typo will be the iPhone keyboard I’ve been waiting for.

3 Comments

  • Geoff March 20, 2014 - 2:12 pm Reply

    There are good reviews, there are great reviews, and then there are Dave’s reviews.

    This was fantastic. Well thought-out, objective, and even tells the company exactly how they could proceed to satisfy you. Thanks, Dave!

    • Dave March 20, 2014 - 10:46 pm Reply

      I’m … speechless! LOL! Thank Geoff! Honoured to have you read and find value in my crazy head-space 🙂 Thanks for hanging around and spreading the love!!

  • Eduard May 11, 2015 - 2:55 pm Reply

    Hi, based on all 3 and below star reviews I nearly dropped the idea of purchasing the Typo. I always loved Blackberry and never really wanted an Iphone but my employer decided differently. Man was I dissapointed by everything except maybe the camera. Bb can do everything the iphone can, but better. But then I found a nearly new Typo on ebay and decided to give it a shot. I could never imagine that I would really enjoy typing as much as I did on a Blackberry again but this thing turned the otherwise useless Iphone (as a business tool) into a device that I actually enjoy and love to use for typing emails and messages. I just love the Typo!! Obviously one thing can mean different things for two people. What I wanted to say is, if you like physical keyboards and you are forced to use iphone for any reason, make sure to try the Typo.

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